February 08, 2012

Business Start-up To-Do List

Launching your own business venture is no easy task. No doubt it will take endless brainstorming, more money than you have, and constant reassessing. However, working your way through this checklist of business fundamentals will ensure your start-up has the necessary components to compete and eventually come out on top.

  • Come up with a great idea - Every business begins with an idea, but is yours useful, practical, and marketable?

  • Make sure there is a need - Do some realistic market researching to ensure that the world really is waiting for your idea.

  • Establish yourself as the expert - If you are as knowledgeable as possible about your business venture you will be more confident and better able to achieve your goals.

  • Be disciplined - Starting a business means managing yourself. Are you prepared to put in the grueling hours and demanding work, while getting meager pay in return, to get your business off its feet?

  • Design a solid business plan - A business plan will guide you in the development of your companyand provide documentation to help get a bank loan or other financing.

  • Get some capital - Ideally you can use your own money. Unfortunately most of us don't have that luxury. Borrowing from friends, family, and banks is the next best strategy.

  • Consider a partnership - If you need more capital, need somebody to balance your skills or limitations, or if you do not feel comfortable assuming full responsibility for your start-up consider going in on a partnership. However, if you do, get a good lawyer just in case.

  • Keep an eye on competitors - Keep an eye on all direct and indirect competitors. People will always try to one-up a good product.

  • Network Network Network - The more people you meet the more you spread the word about your business. Events, conferences, and online networking will not only strengthen your skills but will allow you to make critical professional connections.

  • Use your resources - take advantage of any small business counseling or event. Free and informative, what could be better!

  • Understand and utilize your accounting system - Make sure your accounting system is well managed and understandable. Your system should make it clear what taxes you have to pay and when, how much money you have, and what bills you need to pay and when.

  • Market your business - constantly monitor how you are working to sell your product. Market through advertising, sales promotions signs, trade shows, etc.

  • Establish your company's ethics, environmental concerns, and quality - Educated people are appreciating businesses that practice EEQ more and more. You will only gain support, not lose it!

  • Look to the future - Think about the future of your business. Having goals in place can help you expand your business and come out on top.